I have been so aware of the number of young people who over these last few months have told me how scared they are, asking if we are going to end up ‘at war’. Looking at the pictures on their news stream and reading the headlines, they have found themselves increasingly fearful, anxious for their futures, often then declaring they are simply giving up on the news. So scared that they would rather not know.
Responding to such fear requires a careful balance. It will not wash just to say don’t worry – what is happening around us is a matter of great concern, and they know it. Yet neither should we be encouraging any sense of fatalism, giving up.
We will be especially aware of this in these coming days of ‘remembrance’, moments that bring together our past, present and future. This week, we will remember the victims of war, from the Great War to the Second World War and the conflicts that have followed to this very day. As we remember, we will commemorate all victims of war and we will give thanks for those who have worked to bring peace out of war and we will, I trust, commit ourselves to be people of peace.
In our churches and at acts of remembrance at war memorials across our nation this week, very often our observance will take place in the shadow of the cross. The cross, a place of passion and suffering which becomes the throne of glory in the resurrection; the cross that proclaims that death and destruction will never have the last word; the cross that proclaims there is always hope, for Christ has conquered, Christ’s is the victory.
‘Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives…’ says Jesus. ‘Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.’ (John 14: v 27)
For those of us who seek to follow Christ, this is our confidence, our hope – and this is the good news that we have to share with a fearful world.
What answer do we give, to those who are indeed afraid, to ‘Where can we go?’ To the cross of Christ we say, a place of torment that is hope, a place of death that is life.
One thought on “Message from Bishop Robert, 8 November 2022”
Thank you for your article in this week’s Bulletin. It provided the perfect conclusion to my Remembrance Sunday talk.
Love and blessings, Jacqueline